Water conservation and management with hydrophobic encapsulation of sand

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Hydrophobic sand (HS) is ordinary beach sand coated with tiny particles of pure silica, which have been exposed to a special chemical treatment vapors of a silicon compound called trimethylhydroxysilane (CH3)3SiOH. The additive creates a capillary breaking hydrophobic encapsulation of the sand making it resistant to salts, particularly sodium chloride salts. This can be serving as a pure water repellent material. The use of this hydrophobic layer in various industries has been explored. Here we tried to explore the utility aspects of this HS in agriculture with lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) crop as a model system, by providing a layer of HS beneath soil in potted plants. A layer of HS at the bottom of the pot stops water from passing through it, yet allows air to pass through the sand grains and provide the roots with the air needed to breathe. We analyzed the vegetative characteristics and soil mineral contents after the experimental period and found the results were promising. From the results, it can be concluded that HS can be used as a potential eco-friendly tool to reduce the water consumption in arid land agriculture, without any harm to ecological factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2237-2246
Number of pages10
JournalWater Resources Management
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Hydrophobic sand
  • Lactuca sativa
  • Silica
  • Soil minerals
  • Trimethylhydroxysilane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology


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